I think I’m done doing Superheroes on Sunday for now. It wasn’t a year, as I said it would be, but since I started doing two a week at one point, I think I’ve earned the right to move onto villains when I feel like it.
But before I do that, let us review what has come so far. I said I would populate four universes with superheroes. With the creation of the Beam(s), I started fleshing those universes out a bit. But now I’ll go considerably further.
Let’s say that superhumans and supertechnology first appeared in the late 1800s. The sort of scientific advancements you’d expect to see in a novel by Wells or Verne contributed to a sort of steampunk society. As time went on, portals to other dimensions (like the Narnia or Oz books) allowed humanity glimpses of other worlds and allowed still more technological progress. By the 1930s, pulpish heroes had adventures all over the world and on other planets. By the time the 1940s rolled around we got heroes that resemble those of our Golden Age of superhero comics. With a history like this it is not a surprise that by the modern day humans are spread throughout the galaxy and Earth is a complex world of advanced cityscapes. Superheroes here are relatively common, employed by law enforcement agencies and governments, but also rogues and vigilantes.
This pulp/sci-fi/Golden Age world would be home especially to heroes that fill those niches. Gus Comet is definitely here, as are the Red Shark and the Green Camera. Other possibilities include Astro-Hero, Bludgeonak, ProboscAce, Halberd-Man, and the Scarlet Cannon.
Suppose that the coming of the superheroes happened during the Second World War. Their arrival ended the war years earlier than in our world, and the world had to adjust to all these colorful costumed characters. In the 1950s World War Three occurred, a war between superpower nations with superpowered soldiers. At the end of that war, William Block was the Secretary General of the United Nations and he created a unit called Block’s Elite Strike Team, which would grow to be the primary peacekeeping unit in a world filled with superhuman threats of all varieties. Through the 60s a slew of “super-criminals” came into being, many disillusioned WWIII veterans, and accordingly superpowered crimefighters came as a result. As society grew more accustomed to famous people with code names, it became common for celebrities who didn’t fight crime to take on aliases (a singer might call himself, the Mighty Voice or Songmaster or who knows what other nonsense). Supervillainy has had its effect on society as well: street gangs wear capes and masks to show their colors, and even some of the world’s military uniforms have been designed to look like super-costumes. On this Earth, superhumanity is a world-shaping force, and their constant fighting is starting to reach dangerous levels that could result in the end of humanity itself.
This is the world that is home to my Justice-Man character and all the supporting cast I made for him. Most of the other characters I made circa Junior High call this world home. That includes: Rhinoceros Woman and Rabbit, Helm, and the Strange Squad (including but not limited to Cut-Up, Forcefieldo, and Brain Pain). But it isn’t only the heroes I created then, many of the ones invented for Super Sunday would also be in here. Securer, Vanquisher, HAULER, and the Crew of the Cosmic would also be among this world’s multitude of heroes. The overall feel of this world, with its long history of superhuman activity and the overabundance of costumed chaos, kind of reflects what I would have seen in comics during my formative years (and today).
The bad universe. A world where bad guys are winning and good guys are few and far between. The coming of superhumans here has not been pretty. The world’s most advanced remaining societies are now dystopian nightmares and the countries that aren’t as lucky have been reduced to almost post-apocalyptic scars on the surface of the Earth.
The most prominent heroes here are Lex Techno and his Raid Force Zero (Captain Fire was a member of this group). The Blue Cloak and Killshadow. And to keep things organic, I’ll throw in some who were not specifically created to be in especially dark worlds, like Monstrona.
A universe where superheroes haven’t yet had a huge effect on society and the jury is still out about how they will change the world. Will they bring about an end to crime and warfare, or will society crumble? This is the universe where I’m placing most of the characters who have turned up in Super Sunday that I find the most interesting. In a way it is what I consider my ideal superhero universe to write about.